Honda Racing lead the way as the British Superbike Championship heads to Oulton Park
This weekend (18/19/20 September) the Bennetts British Superbike Championship reaches the second half of the 2020 season at Oulton Park, where Honda Racing top the championship standings with Glenn Irwin, as well as the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship with Tom Neave - both aboard the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
With a 35-point lead ahead of the weekend’s triple-header, the team arrives at the picturesque Cheshire circuit with a clear focus of securing solid finishes across the three races in order to maintain the series lead.
Just shy of a podium finish last time out at Silverstone, Glenn’s trio of fourth place finishes were enough to edge further ahead of his title rivals. Teammate Andrew Irwin will also be looking for a series of strong finishes as he aims to improve his position in the standings where he’s currently sitting eighth with 83 points.
On the Superstock side of the garage Tom currently heads up the championship with a six-point lead, having won three out of the five races this season with the new Fireblade, but in a hugely competitive field this weekend’s two races will prove vital for his championship. Davey Todd is looking forward to continuing his short circuit return and build on his season, where he continues to run with the front runners.
Practice begins on Friday 18 September with qualifying and Round 10 on Saturday, ahead of Rounds 11 and 12 on Sunday.
Live timing will be available here.
Weekend Schedule – Rounds 10/11/12
Friday 18 September:
1150 - SSTK FP1
1520 - BSB FP1
1615 - SSTK FP2
Saturday 19 September:
0915 - BSB FP2
1045 - SSTK Qualifying
1215 - BSB DATATAG Qualifying
1440 – SSTK Race 1 (14 laps)
1615 - BSB Race 1 (16 laps)
Sunday 20 September:
1315 - BSB Race 2 (18 laps)
1510 - SSTK Race 2 (14 laps)
1640 - BSB Race 3 (18 laps)
#18 Andrew IrwinSilverstone was a tough weekend, but we showed we still have speed, we’re just maybe not able to put the races together at the minute. But it was three finishes and that’s what I said I needed, so we go into this weekend carrying some momentum. When you ride Oulton with a bike that’s working well it’s probably one of, if not, the nicest circuit in the UK we get to ride, so I’m looking forward to it and getting back to hopefully close to where we should be. I’m going to enjoy the weekend as much as I can and not get caught up in taking it too serious. I think I need to relax a bit and enjoy doing what I love - I race motorbikes because I love bikes and sometimes you can lose that little bit of fun when you take it too serious, so just maybe take one step back to go two steps forward and enjoy it again.
#2 Glenn IrwinWe arrive at Oulton Park knowing who’s strong and now also who is getting stronger as the season progresses. We’ll go into this round the same as every weekend concentrating on us and keeping this cool, calm attitude, and working closely with the team. I’m excited to see what the Ducati boys can do, as they are our closest rivals in the standings, but I’m also excited to see what we can do. We have a great package with the new bike and historically the Fireblade has always been strong at Oulton Park, recording wins and podiums in the past, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t come out having enjoyed a strong weekend with our title dreams still in reach.
#68 Tom NeaveI am looking forward to Oulton, but out of all the tracks we go to it’s always been a bit of a grey area for me, I enjoy riding all the circuits on the calendar, but I’m never sure what Oulton Park is going to throw up, it’s always close racing there and it’s a physical riders’ track. I’ve won with the new Fireblade this year at circuits I’ve not won at before, so there’s no reason why we can’t continue that into the weekend, we’ve obviously got form as we’ve taken a win at each round so far. After watching the second race at Silverstone back, I’m really fired up for the weekend - I was too easy on the start and didn’t get my head down. I feel like this weekend I have a bit of a point to prove to myself, I only have a six-point lead which isn’t much of a gap, so it’s straight down to business this weekend, qualify well and get that gap increased!
#74 Davey ToddOulton Park is a special place for me as in 2016 I won my first Superstock 600 race there. It’s one of those circuits I think everyone loves to ride, I could ride there every day and not get bored! It’s super-technical and probably one that’s most like a road-race circuit, it’s bumpy, rough, with a few little jumps which suits my off-road/supermoto background. We’ve only been making steps forward with both myself and the Fireblade and we’re getting stronger each round, if we keep moving that way, I’ll be happy. We’re pretty much there, the lap times are quick, I just need to learn my race craft for sure a little bit more. Maybe qualify a bit better, I’m stronger in practice, but in qualifying I seem to not get space on track, so I know what I need to work on and am pretty confident if we crack that it’ll be a good round.
Team Manager Havier BeltranThe key for this weekend and all weekends’ moving forward now is consistency, we need to make sure that Glenn and Tom are both scoring solid points, so they can push ahead with their championship leads. Glenn had three fourth-place finishes at Silverstone and increased his lead to 35 points, so it’s not necessarily about winning. It was good to see Andrew back in the top-10 at Silverstone, but we all know he’s a race winner and capable of more, which I hope comes through for him this weekend. For Davey as well, it’s about building and he’s impressing as he continues his short circuit comeback and I’m confident with the package we have, it won’t be long before he’s on the podium. It’s such a shame we can’t welcome fans at this round, Oulton is all about the fans and I know I won’t be the only one to say we’re missing their support trackside.